14 March 2018

Committee action, Mar. 14, 2018: HB 541

HB 541 by Rep. Julie Stokes would amend the constitution essentially to make all sessions equal in subject matter covered instead of separate fiscal and general ones. Off the bat, Stokes asked the House and Governmental Affairs Committee to add an amendment, which was approved, which would leave the current arrangement largely the same, except the general/non-fiscal session could have five fiscal bills filed and statute-companion legislation to amendments would not count against that total.

Jim Patterson of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry spoke against it (although after demurely kissing Stokes on the cheek and pledging friendship between the two despite this issue), saying the group saw any problems as not systemic but a product of robust legislating. He said it was a good system for taxpayers being insulated every other year without fear of tax increases. Rep. Barry Ivey said business didn’t have to limit itself to biannual restrictions on revenue raising, although how he could equate government taking people’s money with business transactions he didn’t explain.

The bill was approved without objection.

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